Saturday, May 5, 2018

Raspberry Gazpacho

Silky, refreshing with just a hint of spice this Mediterranean soup is perfect for summer entertaining. Fresh, textured, light, and so delicious, the frozen raspberries are the hero of this dish, providing a bit of sweetness and tartness that balances perfectly with the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

1 cup frozen raspberries, plus more for garnish
3 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped red bell pepper, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup white onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup peeled and seeded cucumber, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (can sub lemon juice)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 slices bread, toasted and cubed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1.) Put the frozen raspberries, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, half of the bread cubes, salt and pepper in a blender. Process until smooth, adding up to 1/3 cup water if necessary. (Work in batches if not all the ingredients fit in your blender at once.)
2.) Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Refrigerate for up to a few hours before serving for best flavor.
3.) To serve, toss together the remaining bread crumbs, raspberries, chopped bell pepper and cucumber together with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the gazpacho among 4 bowls and garnish with the bread mixture.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Pesto Genovese

When making their beloved pesto, Ligurians use sweet, delicate basil Genovese and remove any green sprouts from the center of the garlic cloves to avoid bitterness. The key to bright green color that stays: muddling the ingredients very finely in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle, since a blender’s blades can be too violent. When storing, top pesto with a thin layer of olive oil and refrigerate.

2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, preferably a delicate red-skinned variety, peeled
2 bunches sweet Italian basil, leaves picked, thick stems removed (2 packed cups)
6-8 tbsp olive oil
1⁄4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1⁄4 cup Pecorino Sardo

1.) In a large mortar, add the pine nuts, salt, and garlic cloves. Using a large pestle, pound and scrape the ingredients into a very smooth paste, 5–7 minutes.
2.) Add the basil in small amounts, working it into the mixture after each addition, until all the basil has been added and the mixture is smooth and creamy, 15–20 minutes.
3.) Slowly add the oil while stirring with the pestle until emulsified.
4.) Add both cheeses and stir with the pestle to incorporate.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Savoury Banana gratin

A banana gratin with a twist. A dinner dish your kids will love once their tastebuds have explored the surprising mix of flavours. Also works as a sturdy breakfast before heading out into the cold.

4 bananas
1 teaspoon of butter
4 slices of white ham
4 teaspoons of mustard
150 ml of liquid cream
1 tablespoon of powder curry
60 g of grated gruyère cheese
Ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
1.) Melt the butter in a pan.
2.) Peel the bananas and pan fry them, whole, 2 minutes each side.
3.) Allow them to cool down for a few minutes.
4.) Meanwhile, spread the mustard on the slices of ham.
5.) Pour the cream in a recipient, add the curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
6.) Place each banana on a slice of ham (mustard side) and roll them delicately.
7.) Place in a gratin dish and cover with cream of curry.
8.) Finally, sprinkle with grated gruyère and bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is nice and golden. Serve warm.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Chicken with Tomato & Cucumber salad

Super tasty, super fast, super easy, super kid friendly, super healthy... what more do you need?

Ingredients for salad:
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 cup pear tomatoes, sliced in rounds
1 kirby cucumber, unpeeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced
3 pepperoncini peppers, stemmed and minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for grilled chicken:
4 chicken paillards (scaloppini), about 4 ounces each
Olive oil spray
Freshly ground black pepper

1.) Smash the garlic clove, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear to a coarse paste.
2.) Put the garlic paste in a large bowl and stir in the olive oil and lemon juice.
3.) Add the tomatoes, cucumber, pepperoncini, and dill and toss.
4.) Grind some black pepper. Toss again, and set aside.
Preheat a grill pan or nonstick skillet to medium high.
5.) Spray the chicken paillards lightly with the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
6.) Grill the chicken, in batches if necessary, to avoid crowding the pan, turning once, until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
7.) Place each paillard on a plate and serve topped with the tomato-cucumber salad.

Monday, January 29, 2018

French Lentil & Carrot salad

A colourful salad to add a little punch to your day. Light yet filling it is the perfect lunch box take-away for school or work.

Ingredients: (for 4 persons)
1 kg carrots
100 gr green lentils
120 gr goat cheese
50 ml milk
1/2 red onion cut in rings
4 tbl spoons of olive oil
1 tbl spoon of vinegar
salt & pepper

1.) Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them in half or in four if they are large. Place them on a cooking plaque, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Mix and cook in an oven preheated to 180°C during 30 minutes.
2.) Put the lentils in a pan, cover with cold water and oil. Salt and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Drain and pour in a salad bowl. Add two tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of vinegar—allow to become tepid.
3.) Mix the goat cheese with the milk, pepper and the rest of the thyme to obtain a creamy sauce.
4.) Mix the carrots with the lentils, add the onions rings. Divide in the plates and pour on the goat cheese sauce. Voilà!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Angel Hair pasta with tomatoes and shrimp

A quick and healthy family dinner recipe that can also be served at a dinner party and let you shine.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt
8 ounces angel-hair pasta
8 cups chopped escarole, kale and/or Swiss chard
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2.) Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, adding the greens to the water.
3.) Drain and rinse under cold water; transfer to a large bowl.
4.) Combine the shrimp, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl.
5.) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute.
6.) Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 3 minutes per side.
7.) Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
8.) Add the shrimp mixture to the bowl with the pasta along with the basil and lemon zest and juice. 9.) Toss together and decorate with a leave of basil.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Guacamole - the best

I loooove guacamole! I usually serve this with wholegrain tortilla chips and it is also great along side some grilled white fish.

2 ripe avocados, seeded, peeled & halved
½ lime juiced
½ red onion, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded, diced
1 tbs chopped coriander
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt & pepper

1.) Add the avocado and lime juice into a bowl. Use a potato masher or a fork to roughly mash until it is the consistency you like.
2.) Mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Salade Niçoise

Nothing says summer in France like a salad Niçoise and a glass of Rosé. This beautifully constructed salad, featuring the best of the farmers’ market, is the ultimate in French recipes.

1 medium shallot, minced
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
optional: fresh herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, parsley

Salad: (serves 4)
2 heads Boston or Bibb lettuce
1 pound green beans, French if possible
8 anchovies packed in olive oil
8 ounces canned albacore tuna in olive oil
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup black Niçoise olives
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved

1. Place minced shallot, lemon juice and Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk.
2. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture until combined.
3. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
5. Trim the ends of the green beans.
6. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for approximately 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans and place them in a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking and keep them crisp.
7. Arrange the washed greens in a large bowl and dress with the vinaigrette.
8. Place each additional ingredient on top and drizzle the remainder of the vinaigrette. Salt and pepper as needed.

Optional: you can always add some potatoes to give it a little more texture.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mediterranean Chicken

A delicious dish which will transport you directly to the shores of Southern Europe. It takes a little bit of preparation but is definitely worth the effort.

For the chicken:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, washed and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 branches fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied

For the salsa verde:
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup mint leaves, chopped
2 cup basil, chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
4 anchovy fillets, bones removed, soaked and chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
Coarse sea salt, to taste

For the side of tomatoes:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, whole
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Splash of balsamic vinegar

1. To marinate the chicken: In a large plastic sealable bag, squeeze the juice from the lemon and add the lemon itself. Add all the remaining ingredients, seal carefully, and massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or even overnight.

2. To make the salsa verde: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until serving. Refrigerate if made earlier in the day, and remove an hour or so before serving.

3. To cook the chicken: Lightly spray a stovetop cast iron griddle with oil and heat over medium-high heat until smoking.

4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat off excess marinade. Place the chicken on the griddle and cook about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Turn the chicken and cook 2 more minutes, until cooked through.

5. To make the tomatoes: Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and splash of balsamic vinegar, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tomatoes are warmed through. Crush lightly with a wooden spoon and serve.

6. Place the chicken on a platter and top with the salsa verde with the tomatoes on the side.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Arugula & tomato Pasta Salad

A hearty pasta featuring peppery arugula, fresh tomatoes and pungent red onion.

12 oz. small rigatoni or other short pasta
½ lb. sliced bacon (about 9 slices)
1 medium Red Onion
1 pt. Grape or cherry tomatoes
1 bunch arugula, thick stems discarded

1.) Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and return it to the pot.
2.) Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel--lined plate. Break into pieces.
3.) Discard all but 2 Tbsp of the drippings and return the skillet to medium heat. Add the onion, season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. 4.) Add the tomatoes and arugula and cook, tossing, for 1 minute.
5.) Toss the onion-tomato mixture with the pasta and fold in the bacon. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Super simple Banana Cake

This is a super easy, fail-proof and speedy recipe. You can whip up a cake in no time for breakfast, brunch or tea!

Ingredients: (10 slices)
2 eggs
150 g of cane sugar
150 g of sweet melted butter
3 bananas cut in round shapes + 1 whole
100 g of nuts cut in half and chopped
170 g of flour
1 full teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 200°C
1.) Mix all the ingredients with an electric whip during 4 minutes, leave out the whole banana and the brown sugar
2.) Pour the preparation in the mould.
3.) Cut the whole banana in 3 to 4 slivers lengthwise and place it on the batter.
4.) Sprinkle with brown sugar.
5.) Cook for 70 minutes

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before unmoulding. Serve tepid or cold.

Friday, January 29, 2016

English Apple Cake

Nothing beats a homemade apple cake with chunks of sweet fruit. Try this hearty recipe and surprise your kids with a scrumptious afternoon tea treat when they arrive home after school.

225r self-raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
115r unsalted butter, diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
115r light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6-8 tbsp milk
225r Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
100gr raisins
2 tbsp brown sugar with some cinnamon (optional)

Heat the oven to 180C.
1.) Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
2.) Mix the flour and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
3.) Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingers, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
4.) Stir in the light brown sugar.
5.) Beat in the egg followed by 6 - 8 tbsp of milk – you want to achieve a smooth, thick batter.
6.) Add the apples and raisins and mix to combine.
7.) Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and gently level out.
8.) Sprinkle over the brown sugar and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool further. Best served still warm with a little custard.